December 19, 2004



Andrew, ATW recently criticised Madame Tussauds for a Christmas exhibition which portayed the increasingly ludicrous Beckhams as Mary and Joseph.

So it seems that for you it's ok to insult the Sikhs but not the Christians?

I saw the Life of Brian in Bangor (Belfast City Council refused to give it a licence) when it came out in the early 1980's. We had to walk past a Free Presbyterian picket outside the cinema.

I'm an atheist, so I don't care about religions being criticised. But it should be all or none.


Indeed Peter, a good point. People have the right to protest, as long as they don't frighten or threaten.


The Sikhs that I know of in America are pretty cool. Peace loving - live and let live - America supporting. Perhaps they are afraid? Very, very afraid?? I hope that's not it - but who knows?


BTW - I agree that brawling is not demonstrating peaceably.

David Vance

Interesting discussion. Brawling and intimidation are wrong but I also agree it is right to publicly object to anything you want - and that religions cannot expect to be given a bye.

I also remember going to see the Life of Brian and running the Free P. gamut. In my case, this was worse as I am a Free P!

Andrew McCann


The difference is I didn't go to London and cause £4,000 worth of damage to Madame Tussauds. I was offended and got over it. Why can't they do the same?


I agree with Andrew and David. People have the right to express opposition to something that offends them but not to demand censorship. I wonder if the new incitement to religous hatred laws currently going through parliament could be used to stop plays like this.

Andrew McCann

Another difference is that the Tussauds exhibition poked deliberate fun at Christ whereas this performance does not seek to take the rise out of Guru Nanak.



I don't see how the Tussaud's exhibition poked fun at Christ, in fact it didn't make any comment at all about the Christian faith. All it did was superimpose it's celebrity artefacts into a nativity scene demonstration. It's up to the viewer to make of it what they wish. Unlike the Islamic faith, Christianity has never had any problem with image making and the nativity scene has been depicted in thousands of ways.

As to the topic in question, I read on the BBC online that the theatre in Birmingham has scrapped the play. A victory for violence and hypocritical intolerant bigots, and a defeat for a free society.

Andrew McCann

Impersonation equalled blasphemy in this case, Colm.


Which is exactly the point I was making.

You and many others may have seen this as a blasphemous attack on the Christian religion, but it wasn't explicitly stated as such. To me it was nothing more than a seasonal advert of Madam Tussaud's exhibits, admittedly crass but not intended by it's makers as a negative critique of the christian faith.

It may seem baffling to say this but Christians should actually be proud that the humanistic, tolerant and open minded development of their religous faith in western societies allows such supposedly 'sacrilegous' manifestations as the Tussaud's exhibition without it's creators being burned at the stake. It's called respecting true freesom. It's something the muslims (and sadly now the Sikh's too) should learn.

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